Andrew Jones and Peter Madnick of Elac
HTG Interview with Peter Madnick
John Atkinson / Stereophile Intervirew with Andrew Jones
HTG Interview with Andrew Jones
About Peter Madnick
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, the audio industry was rocked by a sudden shift in "medium" that left the once mighty tape format obsolete. As music enthusiasts fled in mass to the convenience of CD players, which promised “perfect sound forever”, discerning listeners believed that the ones and zeros of digital sound that flooded onto the scene, fell far short of perfection.
A small team of engineers, led by renowned sound engineer Peter Madnick, set out to unlock the full potential of digital, and thus, Audio Alchemy was born. As Chief Engineer, Madnick assembled a design and engineering team that would, in just four short years, produce over 100,000 of the company’s DACs, jitter filters, headphone amps, preamps, power amps and phono preamps – many of which are still in use today. While the brand didn’t live beyond the 90’s, its technologies for jitter control, resolution enhancement, and high-resolution analog filtering are still the solutions of choice.
Madnick and his team could never let go of what they built at Audio Alchemy, it was something special – the right product at the right price, at just the right time. With the original alchemists still in contact and sound quality at arguably an all-time low, an opportunity in 2013 to revive the brand presented itself. Madnick jumped on it, pulling together many of the original team members.
Madnick and the team maintained the brand’s original ethos of superior technology and value, layering in their experience over the years to bring a level of elegance and high-end performance they could only once dream of - and in 2016 the decision was made to accept an offer from ELAC to join forces ... and most notably join forces with another recent addition to the ELAC Team ... Andrew Jones, of TAD infamy, and ingenious speaker designer.
Today, at ELAC : ELAC recognized the need for - indeed the potential of - offering a series of electronics that would be optimized for partnering with Andrew Jones' "killer" Loudspeaker Series -- ADANTE. This line of electronics had to complement the ethos of the new ADANTE - an ethos of superior technology and value.
Although ELAC had developed a few well thought out and targeted electronic components, such as the Element EA101EQ-G Integrated Amplifier and the DS-DS101-G Discovery Music Server, it needed someone to take them to the next level - a very talented designer, and one that shared their Ethos. This led ELAC to bring in Peter, who had re-launched Audio Alchemy in 2013. Peter was at the forefront of the "digital revolution" and is a very accomplished electronics designer. But notably, and critical to sucess, Peter has a blissfully good ear for musicality.
The Dream Team was thus now firmly in place, and we now have the ElacAlchemy DPA-1 and DDP-1 ... and as of September 2018, the culmination of the Peter's and Andrew's synergistic efforts, will witness the introduction of a new electronics line including the $1.5K DPA-2 Stereo/Mono (350W Stereo or 600W Mono), the $2.5K DDP-2 Connected Preamplifier DAC and the $1K PPA-2 Phono Preamplifier -- watch out !
About Andrew Jones
Andrew's first contributions to the world of High End loudspeakers started at KEF, where he was a research engineer. Later, he joined Infinity, and subsequently rose to fame at TAD, where he designed the Reference One speakers - $80K masterpieces !. Audiophiles around the globe proclaimed the TAD Reference One as one of the "Absolute Greats".
As it were, TAD is a division of Pioneer, and in 2016 the Leadership there tasked Andrew with creating a line of ultra-entry-level speaker products for both the 2-channel home market and for Home Theater ... specifically for sale via Best Buy in the US. And he did not disappoint ! The "Andrew Jones Pioneer Speakers Line" stunned the marketplace. As Audiophiles, whether we owned a $300K system or a $5K system, we just had to have his SB-22 LR monitor -- after all it retailed for $125 a pair !! As soon as this little monster entered our hallowed dedicated listening rooms, we understood what all the fuss was about. This speaker was going to transform the market in a very dramatic way ..and laid the foundation for a major transformation -- access to superb Loudspeaker Performance at stupendously accessible price levels ... and other speaker manufacturers began taking note. One manufacture in particular recognized the significance and transformative potential, and took action to capitalize of this development ...read on !
ELAC aggressively courted Andrew, and probably made him an offer he could not -- and did not -- refuse. As a first step in its global strategy, ELAC wanted to dramatically expand its presence in the US market, and he is now VP of engineering for ELAC America, the Lead Market driving the company's expansion into a much awaited market segment : "Accessible High Performance Audio products".
True to his record for masterful and innovative speaker design, he led efforts towards the introduction of some fabulously great sounding ELAC speakers. First came the Entry Level Debut Line, a line of loudspeakers further perfected in 2018 by the Debut 2.0 Series. The strategy involved covering all "step-up" price segments and shortly after the introduction of DEBUT, the UNI-FI and the more "premium-finished" UNI-FI SLIM series hit the market. In 2017 Andrew moved further upmarket with what will, no doubt, be considered a milestone event - the introduction of the "killer" Adante Line -- offering products for both 2-Channel and Home Theater.
On the eve of this latest introduction, ELAC recognized the need for - indeed the potential of - offering a series of electronics that would be optimized for partnering with the ADANTE. This led to bringing in Peter Madnick of Audio Alchemy. Peter was at the forefront of the "digital revolution" and is a very accomplished electronics designer, notably with a blissfully good ear for musicality. The Dream Team was thus now firmly in place, and we now have the ElacAlchemy DPA-1 and DDP-1 ... and as of September 2018, the culmination of the Peter's and Andrew's synergistic efforts, a new electronics line including the $1.5K DPA-2 Stereo/Mono (350W Stereo or 600W Mono), the $2.5K DDP-2 Connected Preamplifier DAC and the $1K PPA-2 Phono Preamplifier -- watch out !